Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Cave bones reveal modern humans not so modern after all

Cave bones reveal modern humans not so modern after all

Astonishingly, the fossil beats the previous Homo sapiens record by more than 150,000 years - a jawbone found in a cave in Romania.

"We're seeing evidence for human dispersals that are not just limited to one major exodus out of Africa". They seemed to have been around for several thousands of years. The analysis of the decay rate of radioactive forms of uranium in the skull bone fragments, suggested that the age of the Neanderthal skull is about 1,70,000 years old.

Among other things, they reconstructed the damaged parts virtually, and dated him on a age of 210,000 years. Their sex is undetermined.

Dr Joannes-Boyau said the history of human evolution was clearly much more complex that what we'd previously thought, and our understanding of it has completely changed in the past 10 years.

But this happened in waves - rather than one event, explained Prof Harvati. That's because it was rounded in a way that's unique to modern humans, Harvati said.

'The early modern humans in Greece were replaced by Neanderthals.

"To me it's extremely likely that he was able to get out of Africa very quickly and adapt to a lot of different environments."

"All humans alive today outside Africa can trace their ancestry" to that final, successful dispersal, Harvati said, but early migrants like Apidima 1 didn't contribute any genetic material to humans living today. "These were small populations that made it all the way to Greece".

These groups arrived later and would have been larger - competing for food and shelter. This narrative originally said that modern humans in the southern cape of Africa developed a suite of original ways of thinking and communicating approximately 80,000 years ago.


But Apidima 1 did not get its due until the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Athens invited Harvati to use her expertise in imaging and 3-D virtual reconstruction to bring both of the skulls to life.

But they had not been described in detail owing to the fragmented nature of the specimens. The first, known as Apidima 1, comprised half of the rear of a skull case. "The storyline in this paper is that the skull is more rounded in the back, with more vertical sides, and that makes it similar to modern humans".

Its estimated age is at least 210,000 years old, making it 16,000 or more years older than an upper jaw bone from Israel that was reported last year.

According to The Guardian, Katerina Harvati, director of palaeoanthropology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, said that the skull is evidence that a small group of modern humans had pushed out from Africa further and earlier than we once thought.

Professor Havarti agreed that these early modern human died out, and were probably later replaced by Neanderthals, who were then replaced in turn by modern humans around 40,000 year ago. The skull came from the oldest modern humans found outside of Africa. The other skull, dubbed Apidima 2, was more complete than Apidima 1, and belonged to a Neanderthal who lived in the area 170,000 years ago.

Apidima 1, however, has features that distinguish it as a modern human.

Recent studies of early human remains have been found in the far reaches of Asia dating back further than 60,000 years.

NEW YORK | Scientists say they've identified the earliest sign of our species outside Africa, a chunk of skull recovered from a cave in southern Greece.

Juan Luis Arsuaga, a Spanish palaeoanthropologist, said he was not convinced the skull was from an early modern human.

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